Kim Swearingin and Marty Campbell met with the Wayne County Board of Supervisors to discuss two run-down properties in Seymour. A parcel of ground with an abandoned house next to Campbell’s estate holds a tax-sale certificate.
“The rats visit my house,” Campbell said. “We’re talking about big rats.”
The city pays $178 a year for taxes for this piece of property. Campbell has agreed to become lien-holder against the land in lieu of the city. By next March, he could get a lawyer to take deed for the property. Swearingin felt that if Campbell was willing to take on the project of cleaning up the land, it should be seen as a good thing. Duffy Kester agreed:
“I think that helps Wayne County and it helps Seymour. One of the things we have in mind is cleaning up this county.”
At 313 N. 3rd, also in Seymour, Angela Mathes has expressed interest in making the property habitable. Since June of 2012, the city has been sitting on a tax-sale certificate along with delinquent sewer. Mathes has agreed to pay the $1,160 in taxes. She has a certificate signed that she can start the 90-day notice. $2,060 would be owed in all. Mathes would pay the rest of the amount at a later date.
“They should forgive some of the taxes if they want the town cleaned up,” Bill Alley said.
“I don’t mind,” Kester added. “I wish it’d catch on in some other cities.”
The board recommended starting the tax abatement process, and if Mathes agrees, to start the sewer process.
A representative from LAE advised the board on Wayne County’s partnership with Clarke County. Kester reported back that in a conversation with Cost Analysis that they had found what they thought were discrepancies with how Clarke County was billing. When sharing, Wayne always sent a report of actual expenses to Clarke, which has never sent a report in return. Kester expressed the need to justify where the money was going.
“You’re sitting on several thousand dollars of federal money you haven’t spent,” the representative said. “If you didn’t think the expenses were accurate and true, you shouldn’t have cashed the check.”
Kester responded that he would be getting in touch with Clarke County to resolve any issues.
“You will never lose service from DHS,” the LAE representative concluded, reporting that the food assistance program brought 1.2 million dollars into the county in fiscal year 2012.
Director of Conservation Bonnie Friend addressed the board, indicating that everything is moving forward with the park system in Wayne County.
“We’re helping make the public aware of what is available regarding campgrounds,” Friend said.
Friend also offered the board the opportunity to apply for grants for storing tractors behind the shop building. She is receiving estimates right now, which include for repair of the shop building. Conservation is working hard and all is well at the parks.
Friend mentioned going with Kenny Banks to look at Medicine Creek. John Sellers asked about the removable of undesirable trees. Friend had talked to Banks about mowing very small locust trees with a brush hog to avoid more expensive labor costs. She would also like to partner with Pheasants Forever for problem tree removal and subsequent seed planting.
“A lot of those trees,” Sellers added, “if you don’t do something chemically, the trees will just spread. There are 15,000 four-and-a-half inch trees. Go to Dow Chemical and ask what we need to do.”
Alley indicated the wetlands money from 20 years ago for maintaining Medicine Creek was gone.
County Engineer Trevor Wolf said they had received compliments on the job done on the Cambria highway. He indicated a plan for next summer for a concrete overlay on Highway 65. There will be no pilot car, just a reroute, and traffic would be back on the road in 48 hours. He also indicated road crews would start painting this week.
“Can we get orange stripes on the outside for winter,” Sellers joked, “or at least change the color of snow?”
Wolf said many truckers call in complaints about the roads. He said it sounds better to the DOT when citizens call.
“I don’t tell them to call your office,” Kester said. “I tell them to call Senator Sinclair.”
Max Higley of Allerton presented the board with an innovation he believes would save the county money by increasing gas mileage.
“I’ve been working on it for about 20 years,” Higley explained. “I don’t expect to get paid for it. I order bottles out of Chicago—liquid in there is antifreeze. They give off the frequencies of expensive gas used for racecars. I gave $1,000 for the potentizer. My goal is to raise miles per gallon by ten.”
The problem, Higley continued, is the burner put behind the motor. His method puts more oxygen in the system with less pollution, he believes.
Alley asked if Higley’s method was patented, and whether the county would get in trouble with EPA regulations. Kester agreed with those concerns, saying they would need to talk it over with Wolf or the county attorney about warranties and EPA regulations. No motions were made regarding the issue.
A representative from Chat Mobility informed the board of finalization of plans to erect a new cell tower south of Allerton at the junction of Highway S26 and Idaho Road. One concern was that the tower’s anchors be secured. CM plans to use elevated anchors with concrete piers five or six feet in diameter. U.S. Cellular, a competitor, uses repeaters on some water towers, but the representative indicated these devices were not as effective for 4G service. He also assured the board that the tower would be far enough away from the road to avoid vehicle collisions with the structure, in case of an accident.
Wayne County has no regulations on cell towers.
“I understand. You’re just being a good neighbor and addressing concerns,” Sellers said.
The next scheduled meeting for the Wayne County Board of Supervisors is set for Sept. 13, at 9 a.m., at the Wayne County Courthouse in the Supervisors’ office.